Travel Insurance 101: How much coverage do travelers really need?

The cost of hospital stays and medical treatment can vary greatly.

Anytime you travel 100 or more miles from home – whether traveling internationally or domestically, to a remote location or just road tripping – purchasing a travel protection plan with coverage for emergency medical expenses and evacuation is a great idea. 

Airplane Departing the USA – Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Did you know…

Medical evacuation costs in North America can be on average around $25,000, as much as $100,000 from Europe, & $250,000 around the world, depending on location. 
A nurse escort costs on average about $11,000 within North America & about $25,000 from Europe.
Medicare/Medicaid and health insurance carriers may stop or decrease coverage once a person leaves the U.S. or their coverage area.
Hospitals outside the U.S. may ask for payment prior to treatment and may not let you leave the country unless treatment is paid in full. (Having a good travel insurance plan means many times your payment can be guaranteed up to the coverage amount)

If you have a medical emergency while traveling, a good travel insurance policy will assist with finding and making foreign and domestic medical arrangements, so you can focus on recovery.

Below I’ll outline some coverage information that you’d typically see in the plan, along with the amounts that are usually provided in the plans I personally recommend considering. 

Coverage types that may benefit you or your family would be: 

  • Emergency Medical Expenses – $100,000 (bear in mind most cruise line plans provide much less, as little as $10,000!)
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation Coverage – $500,000-$1,000,000
  • Non-Medical Emergency Evacuation – $25,000
  • 24-Hour Accidental Death & Dismemberment – $25,000 (quite grim but….there if you need it)
  • Repatriation of Remains – the return of a person’s remains who has passed away while traveling

Medical coverage tip: Most policies include exclusions that would prevent a payout IF you have to cancel or interrupt your trip due to pre-existing medical conditions, unless you buy it basically, more or less, when you book your trip. Typically  you get 7-14 days to add it on to your deposit. I always go over the options before you deposit so you can decide.

Photo by Porapak Apichodilok from Pexels

On top of these “helpful when the worst happens” benefits, you also typically get coverage for things like:

  • Cancellation (for specific reasons listed on policy or optional cancel for any reason type coverage) – up to trip cost for trip payments & deposits, airline fees to rebank frequent flyer miles, and Single Occupancy Upgrade charges
  • Interruption of your trip (for specific reasons listed on policy) – up to 150% of your trip cost – this one covers similarly to cancellation but adds additional transportation expense to return home or join/rejoin a trip
  • Lost Luggage – $2500 – I have seen this happen even to a travel agent friend of mine. Tip: be sure to pack at least a change of clothing in your carry on and essentials, such as medications, sunscreen and a swimsuit (for tropical getaways)
  • Luggage Delay – $250 – to reimburse things you’ve had to purchase until your items arrive
  • Missed Connection – $2500 – examples would be airline delay, documented weather preventing you from getting to your point of departure, natural disaster, etc. Last minute flights can be costly!
  • Travel Delay – $750 – additional meal, hotel, transportation costs due to delays of airline, lost/stolen passports, travel documents or money, natural disaster, weather stopping you from traveling
  • Cancel for Any Reason – this optional add-on coverage type is only available at the initial time of booking your trip and provides 75% should you cancel for a non-covered reason. The one I’ve seen the most is a couple breaking up, for example. 
  • Optional Extended Personal Property – this is for items like cell phones, tablets or laptops.
  • Optional Rental Car Damage 
  • 24 hour Worldwide Assistance Services – included with many policies for things like 24 hour emergency hotline, coordinate medical evacuation/repatriation, help with replacing lost/stolen prescriptions, guarantee of payment of assistance for medical expenses, 24 hour travel assistance (finding a doctor, translation, passport, visa, vaccinations, and health information, help replacing lost/stolen travel documents, 24 hour business assistance service related to weather, travel delay, flight status, emergency travel arrangements.

As you can see, the benefits are many! I recommend coverage for every traveler, and provide you with all you need to know about your specific policy options to ensure you can make the best decision for you. 

Are you ready to comfortably plan your next trip? Even as far out as 2023, I’m ready to help you and prices are starting to climb, so I wouldn’t wait too long!  Reply to this email or inquire on my site to get started! I hope you travel soon – whether near or far! Connect with your loved ones and enjoy this life!

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